Blog Archive

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Write What You Love: Author Interview with Lauren K. Denton

Today's interview is with is with a USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Amazon Charts bestselling author whose stories tell of 
Southern grit, grace, humor, hope, and love. So, sit back and relax to read her writing journey.  

Your first book published was actually the second novel you completed. What did you learn from writing that first book that helped you polish your second book to the point it was accepted by a major publishing house?
I think that first book taught me how much "stick-with-it-ness" is necessary to conceive of a novel then bring it all the way to "the end." Once I finished that first one, I knew I had the persistence and drive to do it again.

All five of your books have discussion guides. What is the process like in putting them together?
The questions usually come together as I'm going through the manuscript in the revision stage. As I'm rereading the story (usually after putting it to the side to "rest" for a little while), themes and discussion points jump out at me and I jot them down. I really like the process of thinking through what might give book clubs good jumping off points for discussion.

What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The middle is always the hardest part for me! I tend to start off with a bang, very excited about the characters and settings and conflicts I've dreamed up in my mind, but as soon as I get somewhere near the 30K word mark, things slow down and I start to wonder if the story is as good as I thought it was at the beginning. The middle is where I have to grin and bear it until I get closer to the end, when things start rolling again.

What does your editor remind you to do most often? 
It's usually about character motivation with her. She wants to make sure the reader understands why a character does a particular thing or acts in a certain way. After reading her comments, I often realize I knew why a character did what she did, but it didn't translate well from my mind to the page. I'm always thankful for such a keen-eyed editor!

What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing? 
Receiving messages from readers who tell me my stories have gotten them through difficult situations always help me on the hard writing days. Remembering that my words, in some small way, have helped a few people.

What is the best writing advice you’ve received or could give? 
It's almost a cliche, but the idea of "write what you love" has always been helpful for me. It reminds me that I'm the first reader of my stories and in order to have the "stick-with-it-ness" necessary to complete the novel, I have to love the story I'm telling. If it's not a story I'd want to read if I were browsing a bookstore or library, then I don't need to write it.

One of the writing “rules” you mention on your website is to only send query letters on Tuesday! I’ve never heard that one before. Can you explain it?
Oh, I don't think it's a real rule. Or if it is, it's a silly one! I heard it once in passing, but I used it on my website as an example of a rule you definitely don't have to follow!

What is the next book coming out? Can you give me a short synopsis? 
My fifth novel, THE ONE YOU'RE WITH, comes out July 6! Nineteen years after a summer apart, with a family and established lives and careers, the past that Mac and Edie thought they left behind has come back to greet them. For the first time, constants in their lives are called into question: their roles as parents, their reputation as upstanding members of the community, and the very foundations of their marriage. As they wade through the upheaval in both their family and professional lives, they must each examine choices they made long ago and chart a new course for their future.

Sounds like an interesting plotline. If you'd like to learn more about Laura's books, you can connect with her here:

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